Summary: What are some of the devil’s devices by which he seeks to deceive God’s children, defeat God’s church, destroy God’s work, and denigrate God’s Word?
THE DEVIL’S DEVICES
(Key Verse - 2 CORINTHIANS 2:11 "LEST SATAN SHOULD GET AN ADVANTAGE OF US: FOR WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES.")
Introduction: Satan is the great enemy of the Saint. In fact "Satan" means "adversary." The Bible refers to the devil by a number of names and descriptions. He is seen as "the anointed cherub" (Ezek. 28:14), "the ruler of demons" (Luke 11:15), "the ruler of this world" (John 16:11), "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), and "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph 2:2). He is identified as a great dragon, a roaring lion, the vile one, the tempter, and the accuser. He is formidable, cunning, and powerful. Paul writing to the Corinthian church realized that Satan was working overtime in the church and emphasizes that we are to be vigilant and alert to his subtlety. Satan’s advantage is based upon one being ignorant of his devices or his methods. What are some of the devil’s devices by which he seeks to deceive God’s children, defeat God’s church, destroy God’s work, and denigrate God’s Word? His methods include distraction, discouragement, disillusionment, discontentment, discord, and disassociation.
A. 1 John 2:15-16 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
B. Satan seeks to distract us by getting us to focus our attention on the material instead of the spiritual, on methods rather than the message, on men rather than God.
C. 2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
D. If Satan can he will get us to major on the minors and to minimize the majors.
E. It was a 99-degree September day in San Antonio, when a woman accidentally locked her 10 month-old baby niece inside a parked car. Frantically the mother and aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. Soon the infant was turning purple and had foam on her mouth. It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred Arriola, a wrecker driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free. Was he heralded a hero? He said, "The lady was mad at me because I broke the window. I just thought, what’s more important--the baby or the window?" Sometimes priorities get out of order, and a Fred Arriola reminds us what’s important. Ray Tiemann, Fredericksburg, Texas. Leadership, Vol. 11, # 3.
F. Satan seeks to get our priorities out of kilter.
G. Colossians 3:2 "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
H. Whenever we place a higher priority on solving our problems than on pursuing God, we are immoral. - Larry Crabb in Finding God. Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 6.
I. Hebrews 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
A. One of Satan’s most potent weapons is trying to get you into a feeling of discouragement, so maybe you’ll give up. Discouragement is a lack of hope usually after a major victory. Many are confronted with it on Monday after a break through on Sunday. The Devil wants you to believe that things are worse than what they are and that you are the only one who cares. That is exactly how Elijah felt after his victory on Mt Carmel.
B. Sometimes it is people that discourage us - Deuteronomy 1:28 "Whither shall we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, ’The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there’."
C. A man who is continually criticized becomes good for nothing; the effect of criticism knocks all the gumption and power out of him. - Oswald Chambers, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 4.
D. Sometimes it’s circumstances that discourage us - Numbers 21:4-5 "And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loathes this light bread."